Seychelles: After 7 Year Journey, New Plant Means Yogurts Will Be Locally Made in Seychelles

A newly established dairy producer -- Maurilait Seychelles -- launched its production plant in the island nation last week and is offering consumers a variety of locally produced yoghurts.

The Minister of Health, Jean-Paul Adam, said it is a great achievement to have a production like this established in Seychelles.

"It adds value in our economy and also brings a product which is healthy to the market, giving a wider choice to Seychellois consumers," he said.

Adam added that this is something that is very positive.

"All of us Seychellois, when we see this product, we are happy to see written on it 'Proudly made in Seychelles'. We feel that it is something very positive in our society," said Adam.

Requiring an initial startup cost of over $2.7 million (SCR37 million), the company has modern equipment specifically designed for the production of fresh yoghurt and yoghurt drinks.

Maurilait Seychelles which is located in the industrial area of Providence on Mahe, operates under the international franchise Yoplait. Maurilait Production Ltée, is a company established in Mauritius since 1976 and member of the Eclosia Group. The group partnered with two Seychellois brothers Andre and Bertrand Rassool to set up Maurilait Seychelles Ltd. Maurilait based in Phoenix, Mauritius.

Procedures to bring Maurilait products to Seychelles started in 2012 and after seven years the project has become a reality. The construction of the factory at Providence started last year and the first products were put on the shelves on September 2.

"We met once in Mauritius with some Mauritian friends who are part of the Eclosia group. At the time, they were already exporting Yoplait to Seychelles in large quantities, and we thought why not produce it locally instead of just importing it. We carried out a market study and we found out that it would be good to introduce the business here," said Andre Rassool.

He added that the products are already popular in Europe and other islands in the Indian Ocean.

"When you compare Yoplait with other brands already on the Seychelles' market, Yoplait is at the very top. There are other projects in the pipeline that we will announce later," said Rassool.

Employing 19 workers, the plant produces yoghurt -- plain, sweetened, vanilla, strawberry, litchi and mixed fruits -- in 125g pots. The yoghurt drinks, 'Yop', come in four flavours -- fruits and cereals, strawberry, mango and vanilla - in 250-millilitre bottles.

Contrary to long-life dairy products, the new locally-made Yoplait yoghurts contain live and active cultures, which constitute a fresh yoghurt recommended for good digestion and immune function.

The general manager of Maurilait Production, Caroline Rault, told reporters that ingredients come from the same providers as that of the factory in Mauritius.

"The milk powder comes from Europe and New Zealand and as for the fruits, they mainly come from South Africa. We are trying to develop all that we can on a national level," said Rault.

The factory is equipped with a laboratory where analysis and quality control are carried out on a day-to-day basis. To ensure sanitary safety, Maurilait Seychelles provides a traceability system from the supplier to the customers. As for any fresh product, the storage and usage instructions are clearly stated on each pot.

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